Thursday, November 15, 2012

Reunion with two of my BEST girls!

I have AMAZING friends!  Have I ever told you that?  Well, I'm telling you now!  I have so many different friends, people I've known for a long time, short time, and forever!  Last night I was able to hang out with two of my greatest friends. I have known Janelle and Katelynn since sunbeams.  But didn't become BEST friends until high school and life since then has definitely brought us closer together.  We can talk about anything and everything (and we usually do!)  It's not often that the three of us get to be together but when we are together it's always a BLAST!

I am so grateful for these two girls!  They have always been there for me and have been such a great support!  And they've both stayed my some of my closest friends despite being married (I love their husbands, who also support me by letting their wives have girl time with me!) It's a good thing Ryan and Brannon get along!  I'll have to make sure the future hubby get's along with them too so they can have guy time while we have girl time!

Let's do this again soon!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Looking Back

It has certainly been an interesting 2 months...and come to think of it a long and interesting year.  Life certainly doesn't go the way you plan but, as I am slowly learning, it does go the way God planned.  With my birthday being last week I really thought about where the year had taken me.  If anyone had asked me a year ago what I would be doing now I wouldn't have said "Living in Utah (in a foot of snow btw) preparing to go to Grad school."  Getting to Utah has been a long personal journey in which I have discovered so much about myself and come to rely on the Lord and His plan.  It's been a journey of heartache, loneliness, confusion, doubt, anger, and some happiness thrown in once in a while.  As I look back and wonder how I made it through I realize that it was the people around me who loved me and my foundation of faith that I had been building throughout my whole life.  The habits I had developed of praying and reading my scriptures daily, going to Church, participating in FHE, firesides, and other activities, and the testimony that I am a daughter of God are what carried me through.  On days when I questioned what the point was and questioned the Lord's awareness of me and my problems that foundation held strong.  President Henry B. Eyring said "If the foundation of faith is not embedded in our hearts, the power to endure will crumble."  When I read that I realized that I did have a faith embedded in my heart.  That is how I have endured this difficult personal journey.  And now that foundation is even stronger!  Through my struggles I have realized who I really am and my potential.  Not only have I realized who I am but I am comfortable with who I am.  It's okay if those around me are getting married, finished with school, working real jobs, having children; those blessing will someday be available to me.  I have learned that I can take a leap of faith.  I've learned that the Lord is ALWAYS there.  ALWAYS.  He loves me and I am deserving of that love.  I've learned that the Lord trusts me to make my own decisions.  He's letting me pursue the degree and career I think is right.  All I know is that He wants me to be in Utah.  While it's difficult for me to not know why Utah or what is going to happen in the next few months I can confidently say that I know the Lord will provide.  I know He has a plan and a will for me, and that wasn't something I could confidently say a year ago.  I know that my family loves me and will always be there.  My parents encourage and support my decisions.  I know who of my friends I can rely on at all times.

I know that this past year's trials won't be the only trials I will have.  But theses trials have made me a stronger and better person.  My testimony is stronger, I have more faith, I know that I am where the Lord wants me to be therefore everything will work out.  I went to an Institute Forum this past Wednesday and the speaker said "Nothing ever works with Plan A.  Keep going.  You may find out that your Plan E was God's Plan A."  Keep going.  That's what I'm going to do.  And hopefully next year I will have even more faith and a stronger foundation.  President Eyring also said "If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing."  How true.  This past year has been one of the hardest in my life but looking back through the suffering I realize it has also been a blessing and great learning period for me.  Who knows what this next year has in store for me but whatever it is I am excited.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Life's Been Crazy

 Since I returned home from my Utah Adventure life has been absolutely crazy!

Life got crazy before Mom, Dad, and I even made it back home!  We got a flat tire and waited on the side of the road for 2 1/2 hours.  We were pretty good sports about it though.  And while it was a drag, I'd have to say that was one of the most fun road trips I've ever had.

We had a lot of family time the past few weeks and I LOVED it!  I have been able to develop better relationships with my family members, especially my mom's siblings.  I have really enjoyed that and I am so grateful for their love and support.

I tried to get in as much Sam time as possible before we sent him off for 2 years.  We had his farewell and setting apart.  And a farewell BBQ.  And we took LOTS of pictures!

I love this picture of the 5 of us kids.  We are definitely a good looking bunch!  Mom and Dad did good.

And at 4 AM we sent Sam off to the MTC.  We are so proud of him and excited for him!  We love hearing from him.  He is such a great example.

While all of this exciting stuff was going on I was also applying for jobs in Utah and trying to figure out when I should go back down.  I want to get residency so that I can apply to the University of Utah's Speech Pathology Master's program.  I applied for and was rejected for many jobs.  I had some difficult few days as I tried to figure out what the Lord wanted me to do.  And then last Tuesday I got a call to come in for an interview with a preschool in the Salt Lake area. That day I packed up ALL my stuff (except some of my books, sad day) and loaded up my car.  Wednesday I drove to Twin Falls and stayed the night with Maudie and Rick (THANK YOU SO MUCH!!).  Thursday I drove the rest of the way.  Friday morning I had my interview.  And now I am just waiting to hear back and praying that I got this job!  Life changed pretty quickly for me this week and I don't do well with quick change, I didn't have much time to plan.  But now I am here in Utah.

I am so grateful to my family and friends who have supported me through all of this (especially Katelynn and Brannon who are letting me sleep on their couch!).  This has been the biggest leap of faith I have ever taken. And I know I wouldn't have been able to do it without my family and friends who love me and have encouraged me to take this step.  The Lord has truly blessed me.

So now I begin my New Utah Adventure.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day 38

Wednesday was my last day to see Emilee before I head back home.  So that evening Marisa, Emilee, and I went to a quilt show.  Emilee is an AMAZING quilter!  People pay her to make quilts for them and she has a big machine that she can make awesome designs with.  It's really all over my head.  There were some really amazing quilts!  I can't imagine having the patience to make a quilt.  After we looked at all the quilts we went to get pizza at Pier 49 Pizza.

We ordered a large pizza with 5 different kinds of meat and got free cheesy bread.  We went to town on that pizza and there wasn't any left overs!  It was some of the best pizza I've ever had!

Mar and I

Emilee and I
I am so glad that I got to know Emilee!  We have finally started to bond so it's sad that I have to leave.  But she was excited to meet me and ready to be my friend the day I arrived.  I am so grateful that she accepted me and made me feel apart from the beginning!

Mar, Emille, and I

Only 1 more day left in Utah.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Days 28-37

I'm pretty behind on blogging so here is a quick summary of what's been happening.

Doobie Elf - Mar's signature creepy face

Sno Cones at THE BEST PLACE!
And those are the "small".
So Good.

Checked out the City Creek Mall in Salt Lake.
It is full of expensive stores, like Tiffany's, which I wanted to see just so I could get the whole Breakfast at Tiffany's experience.

A creek runs through the middle of the lower part of the mall.  
And it has a retractable roof.
It's a fun place to go and just look.  I can't imagine being rich enough to shop there for real.

The mall is right across the street from Temple Square, see the Temple in the background.

Cheesecake Factory.
It was just as amazing as it looks.
I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

Utah on fire.
This is the second fire I've seen in the past couple weeks.

We hiked the Y at night while it was lit up.
Almost there!

Britton, Me, and Mar at the top!
We just sat up there and chatted while looking at the great view!

Holly, Mar, and I went on a 11:30 PM pie run.
We'd just watched Break Dawn Part 1 (2 hours of my life I'll never recover from) and needed to detox with pie.  Ugg, I don't even want to think about it.

I have only 3 more days left in Utah!!  Mom and Dad are here for Education Week so I got to see them last night!  I will be happy to go home but I am not so excited to go back to reality.  But I won't think about that, I've still got 3 more days to party!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day 27 Part 3 of the Wedding Saga

Katelynn woke up at 4:30 Saturday morning, which in turn woke me up and we both tossed and turned until we finally gave up trying to sleep and got up at 5:45.  We showered, ate breakfast burritos (prepared by Katelynn's sister DeAnn and her husband, who cooked for us all week!), then we got Katelynn ready.  Then we headed to the Temple!

Katelynn and Brannon MARRIED!

The reception was held at the cabin so we spent the afternoon decorating and such.

The Cake
It was made by Katelynn's mom.  And it was DELICIOUS as are all her cakes! 
I was on cake duty so I cut and served.  It took all the power I had not to lick my fingers every five seconds or just eat the whole thing.  It's that good.

My Katelynn is a married woman now.  I am so happy for her and Brannon!  I am so grateful that I was able to spend the week with Katelynn and her family.  I am grateful that I was able to be with Katelynn on her wedding day, to help her get ready and be a part of it all.  I have always wanted to have that experience with one of my friends.  And of all my friends I never thought that it would be Katelynn that I would get to share this experience with.  We both laughed about it.  But I think that made the experience even more special.  Thank you Katelynn, for letting me be a part of your special day.  I love you!

Congratulations Katelynn! I am so proud of you!

Day 26 Part 2 of The Wedding Saga

"I'm getting married in the morning!" was the theme song for Friday.  We sang it all day long and it was stuck in my head for days afterward.

 Friday night the groom's family hosted a dinner at a little restaurant. 
Me and Katelynn ready to party at dinner.

After the dinner Jillian (Katelynn's sister) and I decided that we needed to have a Midnight Margarita (of course virgin) party.  Anyone seen Practical Magic?  Just like that.  LOVE that movie. "You put the lime in the coconut..."  So we stopped at a store on the way back to the cabin and picked up  margarita, daiquiri, and pina colada mixes. 
We changed into our pjs and got ready to party!!!

Katelynn and I SUPER excited!
She's getting married in the morning!! AHHH!!

Bry, Jillian's husband, was our drink mixer.
He did an AMAZING job. 

Katelynn and I with our first round.
Seriously, these are our margaritas and then after that we each had a daiquiri and a pina colada, which was to DIE FOR.

We had a wild and awesome party! 
 We both had major sugar highs!

Then it was off to bed.  
Katelynn's getting married in the morning!!!!